War has raged in and around the last Hittite capital of Karkemish throughout its long and prestigious history. The city – also known as Carchemish or Karchemiš – straddles the Turkish-Syrian border, and today bears witness to bitter conflict just a few kilometres away in war-torn Syria. The young T E Lawrence – later Lawrence of Arabia – dug here until the onset of the First World War forced the British Museum expedition to leave; and in 1920 the Turkish military occupied the site, peppering it with mines. Now, nearly a century later, the mines are gone and the ground has been made safe so that an international team of archaeologists can begin work again on the Turkish side of the border. Their excavations are revealing the spectacular remains of an ornate 10th-century BC palace that influenced later Neo-Assyrian design.
Santiago, the largest of the tiny Cape Verde islands off the north-west coast of Africa, was the last port of call for intrepid 16th-century sailors voyaging across the Atlantic, and grew rich as the slave trade flourished. It was also home to what must be the first church built in the Tropics.
If you look closely at the beautiful Ice Age paintings in the caves of the Quercy region, you may notice strange scratches and markings on and around the images. Are these clues to the rituals and ceremonies of the Palaeolithic artists?
Just five miles from the ruins of the Classical Greek temples at Paestum is the site of a splendid sanctuary at the mouth of the River Sele. Though there is little to see above ground, excavations have revealed extraordinary insights into what visitors to a Greek temple in its glory days would have seen and experienced.
Our last feature goes to Spain, where archaeologists have begun excavations at Zorita Castle to discover what life was like in a Medieval fortress.